Thursday, October 07, 2010

Resize a Too-Big Elastic Belt

I have a fairly small waist and often find that elastic belts are too loose. If the elastic pulls free of the buckle, it is simple enough to cut the elastic, seal the ends with a flame, and rethread it through the buckle. However, that solution doesn’t work when the elastic is fused to the buckle.

When I ordered a tunic from Wet Seal, it came with an elastic and faux leather belt. The belt was cute, but too big and I couldn’t do my usual cutting trick since the elastic was sewn to the rest of the belt. I came up with another solution:

1. I tried the belt on and figured out how much length I needed to lose in the elastic.

2. I laid the belt flat, found the center, and pinched a section into an inverted pleat. I made the pleat big enough to reduce the belt's circumference by the desired amount.

3. I held the pleat shut with binder clips while I hand-sewed two rows of stitches – one on either side of the fold.

Detail of the fold (pleat).

View of the back of the belt. This is the part that shows when the belt is worn.

View of the inside of the belt.

So far, the stitches have held for numerous wearings. Here are a few outfits with the modified belt:


Nubby Tongue said...

Add a brooch to cover the seam! Yay for more opportunities to accessorize! =]

Sheila said...

You're so clever! I don't have the patience to hand-sew.

Shaye said...

I've done something similar with too-small elastic belts. Proportionally, my waist is quite small, but I'm generally a pretty large person, so a lot of the cutest belts out there are uncomfortably tight. Not just uncomfortable, but unflattering as well!

I fold the belt in half, then - this is the scary part - cut it in half. I have a large selection of faux leather left over from my days as a handbag maker, and create a single extender sewn into the center back. I try to pick a color that coordinates with either the buckle or the band.

I actually get more compliments on my belts altered this way than on the ones I leave alone!

Amrie Girls said...

what a great tip to fix a belt!! i love it! keep 'em coming!!! {jackie}

Anonymous said...

me likey this tips :)

larkin s. said...

Thank goodness! I just got a supercute belt from The Gap and need to make it smaller. Perfect!!

Mia Reyes said...

Ahh great idea! Modcloth had cute belts on sale so I bought a bunch in size M/L but they ended up too baggy. So glad I Googled a solution THANK YOU!